By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press
CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) _ Nineteen-year-old UCLA star Patrick
Cantlay shot a course-record 10-under 60 _ the lowest PGA Tour
round ever by an amateur _ to take a four-stroke lead Friday in the
The low amateur last week in the U.S. Open, Cantlay tied the
tournament record set by Tommy Bolt when the event was played in
Wethersfield in 1954.
Cantlay birdied the final two holes at TPC River Highlands to
reach 13 under. After shooting a 67 on Friday morning in the
rain-delayed first round, he had eight birdies and an eagle in the
afternoon. It was his second eagle of the day on the par-5 13th.
He said he had no idea that he was setting an amateur record.
“I knew where I was. I knew I needed to make eagle on 18 for
59,” he said. “It’s tough to hole it from 152.”
But he came close. His approach landed just above the hole and
rolled back to just over 2 feet below the pin.
“I thought it had a chance, it was covering the flag pretty
good,” he said. “It takes some luck.”
D.J. Trahan (62), Webb Simpson (65) Alexandre Rocha (66) and
Vaughn Taylor (66) were tied for second along with Andres Romero
who had completed five holes when play was suspended because of
darkness just after 8 p.m. Seventy-seven players are scheduled to
complete the second round Saturday.
An amateur hasn’t won a PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson in
the 1991 Northern Telecom Open in Arizona. If Cantlay wins, he
would have 60 days to decide whether to accept a spot on the tour
and the two-year exemption that goes with it.
Cantlay just completed his freshman year at UCLA, and said he
still plans to stay until he earns his degree.
“I’m going to stay amateur definitely for the Walker Cup, and
my plan is to stay amateur until I finish college,” he said.
Four players have shot 61s at the TPC River Highlands course.
The last was Kenny Perry in 2009.
Thursday’s rain left the greens soft, and with little wind
Friday the scores were low. The projected cut line was 3-under par.
“A day like today, play good in the first round, you just kind
of keep it going,” Taylor said. Generally, your swing feels the
same and your game feels the same, so you just kind of stay in it
and just keep playing.”
Tour rookie Jim Renner shot 29 on his first nine holes and
finished his first round with a 63, good enough for a one-stroke
lead heading into the afternoon.
But he started his second round with a bogey, a par and a double
bogey and finished the day at 3-under.
Renner had played in just one Tour event before this season and
earned his card though qualifying school. He grew up in Plainville,
Mass., and said this tournament was the first PGA Tour event he
“I think I walked about four holes and realized I was ready to
go home,” he said. “I was 14.”
The shot of the day came from Heath Slocum, who holed a 160-yard
shot across the water to eagle the signature 17th hole. He finished
his two rounds at 7 under.
But Cantlay stole the show, and received a standing ovation from
the sparse crowd as he walked up the 18th fairway.
“It’s just one round,” he said. “It was a good round, and I
played really well. Nothing bad happened. I’m really proud of it,
but I’ve got a couple more rounds to play.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)